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State of the Union 2010: A Pivotal Moment

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State of the Union 2010: A Pivotal Moment

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State of the Union 2010: A Pivotal Moment

President Obama’s State of the Union address came at a critical time for his administration and for the country. A panel of Brookings experts discussed the political and policy implications of the speech, including:

  • Do we need more fiscal stimulus?
  • What is the role of cities, states and the national government in job creation?
  • Can America lead on climate change and green jobs?
  • Will the president’s focus on domestic policy signal to our enemies that America has little energy to spend on foreign affairs?
  • Did the speech rally Democrats to the cause of health care reform?


Overall, the president’s speech described a nation facing urgent policy questions. While economic conditions are improving, one in ten workers still lack jobs; hostilities continue in Afghanistan and Iraq; the passage of health care reform legislation has been called into question; and transnational threats such as climate change and nuclear proliferation demand American leadership.

On January 28, Brookings hosted a discussion of President Obama’s first State of the Union and its impact on the policy agenda. Participants included Kemal Derviş, Brookings vice president and director of the Global Economy and Development program; Karen Dynan, Brookings vice president and co-director of the Economic Studies program; Martin Indyk, vice president and director of the Foreign Policy program; and Rob Puentes, senior fellow in the Metropolitan Policy program. Senior Fellow Thomas Mann led the discussion.

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